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Cost-Effectiveness of Allergen Immunotherapy Evaluated

AIT may be cost-effective for allergic rhinitis and in high-risk groups for venom allergy

woman blowing nose

MONDAY, July 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) may be cost-effective for allergic rhinitis, and for venom allergy in high-risk subgroups, according to research published online July 18 in Allergy.

Miqdad Asaria, Ph.D., from the University of York in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted systematic reviews to assess evidence on the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of AIT for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, immunoglobulin E-mediated food allergy, and venom allergy. Twenty-three studies met the inclusion criteria.

Nineteen of the studies examined the cost-effectiveness of AIT in allergic rhinitis; seven of these were based on data from randomized controlled trials with economic evaluations conducted from the perspective of the health system. Based on the body of evidence, the researchers found that sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) and subcutaneous immunotherapy would be considered cost-effective using the U.K. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence threshold of £20,000/quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). Data from three eligible studies suggested that SLIT may be cost-effective with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £10,726 per QALY in patients with both asthma and allergic rhinitis. Based on one economic modeling study, for bee and wasp venom allergy, AIT is only likely to be cost-effective for very-high-risk groups who may have multiple exposures to venom/year.

"Overall, the evidence to support the cost-effectiveness of AIT is limited and of low methodological quality," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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